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The Greenhouse that Marcy Built

I believe gardeners are a resourceful group, rising to meet the challenges their gardens present. I also believe that more than a few of the gardeners I know are, shall we say, value conscious. Or maybe we shouldn’t be afraid of the word cheap, and just call it like it is. My friend, Marcy, calls herself cheap, and I think she’s pretty proud of it. She should be. I can’t believe what she has done with very little money. This is the greenhouse that Marcy built.

These are the bricks that formed the foundation of the greenhouse that Marcy built. The bricks were free. A few months ago, she drove past a new home that was getting rid of their extra bricks. She quickly called a friend to borrow a truck, and then she unloaded two trips worth of bricks – by hand, one by one.

These are the windows that became the walls that were installed on the bricks that formed the foundation of the greenhouse that Marcy built. The windows were free. While running errands last summer, Marcy noticed a home having new windows installed. She stopped, knocked on the door, and asked the homeowners if she should have their old windows.

These are the beams that hold up the ceiling over the windows that became the walls that were installed on the bricks that formed the foundation of the greenhouse that Marcy built. The beams were the only building material that Marcy purchased at a store.

These are the polycarbonate panels that let in sunlight through the beams that hold up the ceiling over the windows that became the walls that were installed on the bricks that formed the foundation of the greenhouse that Marcy built. The old panels were free. They were headed to a landfill after a renovation project at a greenhouse where she worked several years ago. Instead, she brought them home.

Marcy built the greenhouse herself. She has not been trained as a builder; she is just creative and capable. It’s not perfect, but that is what makes it so charming.

Most of the plants inside grew in her garden last summer.

The geraniums have never stopped blooming and will be ready to head back outside in May.

A couple of plants from her pond are overwintering in a fountain.

This plant was recued from a dumpster at her son’s school. It sure is happy in Marcy’s greenhouse.

Swiss chard is ready to harvest.

Can you imagine how good it will smell in the greenhouse when the paperwhites planted in the trough bloom?

Outside, it was cold and snow was falling.

Inside, it was warm and welcoming and wonderful.

And this is Marcy…amazing, inspiring, energetic, fun-loving Marcy.

Have you used recycled, upcycled or repurposed materials to create something special for the garden? I would love to hear about it.

I have some big plans for projects in my garden this year that I can’t wait to share with you as the season progresses. Garden with me!

12 thoughts on “The Greenhouse that Marcy Built

  1. I always admire people that can do such large projects with collected objects. This is definitely a winner. I have done small projects with leftover bricks but never anything on this scale.

  2. This is inspiring! I love the deft way you incorporated The House That Jack Built into your narrative. I love Marcy’s clever and frugal approach to getting materials and all the hard work she did in constructing her greenhouse. And I love that image of the comfy chair and table for enjoying the cozy space she has created. Thank you for the happiest post I have seen in days!

  3. That’s awesome! What a retreat for a cold January day… or week..
    Maybe someday I’ll be able to post the same thing, I’ve been storing the windows for at least 6 years but just don’t have the ambition to get moving lol

    1. You never know. You may just get the opportunity to acquire the rest of the materials needed like Marcy did. Thanks for your comments, Frank!

    1. That is a great question, Claire. Marcy ran the ductwork from the house through the wall into the greenhouse. She realizes it is not the most energy efficient this winter and is planning on making it more energy efficient for next winter. Thanks for asking!

  4. Love, love, love! What a great post, Diana – I’m all in for cheap…or frugal, as I like to say 🙂 . Like others, I’ve done my fair share of upcycling – my family knows to always ask me before they toss anything out – but Marcy’s greenhouse is truly an accomplishment worthy of bragging rights.

  5. Well written thank you for all the compliments I am very passionate about my plants and trees love to be surrounded by them all the time Marcy 🌷

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